The Home Office has announced that over one million people have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The milestone comes four-and-a-half months after the scheme fully launched on 30th March 2019. More than 50,000 people applied in the opening weekend alone.
“EU citizens have made incredible contributions to our country – which is why I’m so pleased that over one million people have been granted status, enshrining their rights in law,” said Brandon Lewis, Minister of State for the Home Office.
“The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU. To apply they only need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions.”
The government says there is a range of support available for EU citizens and their families via phone, email and in person. This includes a dedicated Settlement Resolution Centre, over 300 Assisted Digital locations supporting those with limited computer access or skills and a network of 57 organisations, funded by the Home Office, helping vulnerable people such as the homeless, disabled and elderly to apply.
“We are delighted that the EU Settlement Scheme has reached this important landmark,” said Barbara Drozdowicz, Chief Executive Officer at the East European Resource Centre.
“So far, our charity has helped more than 700 vulnerable people from Central and Eastern Europe to submit applications to the scheme.”
The Home Office has published the latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme up to 31st July 2019, showing that the highest number of applications has come from Polish, Romanian, Italian and Portuguese people.
Employers are also stepping in to support their own staff to make applications and making use of a Home Office employers’ toolkit, designed to give them practical advice to support their staff.
Neil Yorke, Director at The Best Connection said: “The Best Connection is proud to be one of the largest employers of EU nationals in the UK.
“We have received helpful guidance from the Home Office which, along with our own initiatives, has encouraged our EU national workforce to apply and obtain status so that they continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.”
Deal or no deal, EU citizens and their family members will have until at least 31st December 2020 to apply. The figure of one million people having been granted status has been obtained from internal management information and is not part of the published statistics.
Article published 21st August 2019